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Prop. 8 debate fuels protests

Same-sex marriage issue stirs up locals

Posted: October 27, 2008 7:21 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Brittney Walsh, left, and Brittany Kelly hold a makeshift cardboard sign in spontaneous reaction to the Yes on Proposition 8 rally in Valencia Monday.

A Yes on Proposition 8 demonstration broke out on all four corners of Soledad Canyon and Bouquet Canyon roads Monday, spilling into the street and drawing more than 250 supporters armed with loud signs and pointed opinions.

"The polling shows it's a dead heat," Proposition 8 supporter Sean McLaughlin said. "We are trying get the last 10 percent that is undecided."

Proposition 8 is on the Nov. 4 ballot and if passed will define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The proposition will strike down a court decision that extended that right to gay and lesbian couples.

"The main reason for marriage is for children," Proposition 8 supporter Bryan George said. "This proposition protects the rights of our children and allows people to grow up in a home with a mom and a dad together."

The effort to swing the vote included signs made up by and hundreds of supporters. The sign-waving supporters prompted some motorists to honk horns in support, while other motorists honked horns to tell the supporters who spilled into the street to get out of the way.

In the middle of a sea of yellow Yes on Prop 8 signs were three people opposed to Proposition 8.

Brittney Walsh, Brittany Kelly and Connor Quinn stood on the southeast corner of Soledad Canyon and Bouquet Canyon roads holding a makeshift cardboard sign. Walsh with her multiple piercings and Quinn with his tattoo-covered arms stood in contrast to the political T-shirt clad Yes on 8 supporters.

"I have a bunch of gay friends and they should be able to marry," Kelly said.

"I saw what they were holding up and we think it's wrong," Walsh said about the yes-on-8 supporters. "It's not alright to stop what the people want."

George agrees with Walsh that judges shouldn't stop what people want, that's why he supports Proposition 8.

"The judges took away the vote of the people," George said, citing Proposition 22 in 2000 that passed by a wide margin and defined marriage as between a man and woman.

"The whole issue of judges legislating from the bench is tough," McLaughlin said. "If not for judges making tough decisions, we wouldn't have civil rights."

However, the civil right issues cuts both ways, he said.

"This is a very wealthy, educated and powerful group of society that has radical views," McLaughlin said about the gay and lesbian communities. "We can give them rights without taking our rights."

Those radical views held by the gay rights activist include teaching about gay marriage in school, George said. He doesn't believe the claims made by California Superintendent of Schools Jack O'Connell that gay marriage is not going to be taught in school.

"Go to (O'Connell's) Web site and you'll see 96 percent of the schools in the state signed up to teach gay marriage," George said.

Teaching alternative lifestyles is dangerous, he said.

"This elevates gay marriage to the same level as traditional marriage and takes away our country's preference for traditional marriage," he said.

The sun sunk west of SCV as Quinn held his sign aloft.

"Vote for what you want just read about it first. Know what you're voting for," he said.

Protecting marriage and the family is a top priority for Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon, who was at the rally.

"The family is a basic institution in civilization," McKeon said. "Any threat against the family, which I define as a man and a woman, is a threat to society."


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